Applied Research in Human Communication Disorders (PGCert / MRes)

Image of Chandler House Building



This multi-disciplinary programme is aimed at professionals already working in child or adult services in health, education or social care who have an interest in developing research expertise and a motivation to carry out supported research in their workplace.

CPD@PALS

The modular programme offers full-time, part-time or flexible study over a period of 1 to 5 years, building towards a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or a full Masters in Research (180 credits). With a strong emphasis on supported distance learning as well as classroom study, the programme is designed specifically for those who wish to combine professional development in applied research with their ongoing work.

Start date:
September 2014

Content

Students will develop knowledge and skills in applied research related to the client groups with whom they work.

Key topic areas include:

  • Principles and practices of evidence-based practice;
  • Skills in critical appraisal of research evidence;
  • Qualitative and quantitative methodologies related to communication disorders research;
  • Research governance;
  • Planning, implementing and managing research with clinical populations in workplace contexts;
  • Public engagement in research.

Students undertaking the MRes will conduct a substantive research project based in their workplace that addresses theoretical and/or practice related concerns.

Structure

The programme offers two linked pathways in Applied Research in Human Communication Disorders at postgraduate level:

- Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert; course code TCPHCSSDIS01)

- Master of Research (MRes; course code TMRHCSSDIS01)




PGCert Applied Research in Human Communication Disorders

The PGCert programme consists of two compulsory modules and one optional module.

Mode of study

• Full-time, 1 year
• Part-time, 2 years
• Flexible, normally 3 years

Compulsory modules

Module 1. Research Evidence and Design (30 credits)
Students will gain knowledge and skills in applied research methods including critical appraisal of research evidence.

Module 2. Research in Practice (15 credits)
In this module students will develop the knowledge and skills required to plan, implement and manage research in their workplace contexts.

Optional module

Module 3. Students may choose any 15 credit module from MSc Language Sciences or the Centre for Health Informatics & Multi-professional Education (CHIME; subject to availability), or PSYCGR16 Qualitative research methods.

Please note: Students completing the PGCert may subsequently register for the MRes. Completion of the MRes should be within a 5 year period from starting the PGCert.


MRes in Applied Research in Human Communication Disorders

The MRes consists of two compulsory modules, one optional module and a research project.

Mode of study

• Full-time, 1 year
• Part-time, 2 years
• Flexible, normally 3 years, maximum 5 years

Compulsory modules

Module 1. Research Evidence and Design (30 credits)
Students will gain knowledge and skills in applied research methods including critical appraisal of research evidence.

Module 2. Research in Practice (15 credits)
In this module students will develop the knowledge and skills required to plan, implement and manage research in their workplace contexts.

Optional module

Module 3. Students may choose any 15 credit module from MSc Language Sciences or the Centre for Health Informatics & Multi-professional Education (CHIME; subject to availability), or PSYCGR16 Qualitative research methods.

Research Project

Module 4. Research Project (120 credits). Students undertake a research project in the area human communication disorders, which culminates in a dissertation of 15-20,000 words.

Staff

Academic staff in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences have a wide range of expertise relating to research methods in communication disorders, and have close links with other UCL academic units including the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, the Ear Institute, Institute of Neurology, Institute of Child Health, and Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Particular areas of expertise include:
• Acquired aphasia
• Acquired apraxia of speech
• Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
• Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
• Communication difficulties associated with ageing
• Children with complex special needs
• Deafness / cochlear implant
• Dysphagia
• Dyslexia
• Developmental language disorders
• Progressive neurological conditions
• Speech disorders in children
• Specific Language Impairment
• Stammering
• Written language difficulties

Students will be based at Chandler House which represents a world-class hub for teaching and research in human communication disorders.

Chandler House, 2 Wakefield Street, London WC1N 1PF, is located about 500m south of King's Cross and St. Pancras stations, and about 500m north of Russell Square underground station.

Application

Who can apply?

The programme is best suited to those in employment in child or adult services in health, education or social care who are seeking to continue their professional development.

Entry requirements

Successful applicants are normally expected to have a minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in a relevant subject. Applicants will also normally be working with children or adults with communication disabilities in education, health or social care settings. Applications are also invited from candidates with a recognised professional qualification who may not have a Bachelor's degree, but who have a minimum of 2 years relevant work experience. Such applications will be assessed on an individual basis.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
• why you want to develop skills in applied research in human communication disorders at graduate level
• why you want to study at UCL
• what particularly attracts you to the programme
• how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of the programme

If you are applying for the MRes we would also like to hear about your preliminary ideas for your research project.

Together with essential academic/professional requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

How to apply

To apply, please follow this link to the UCL online application system. Once you have read the information on this page, including the apply online check list at the very bottom of the page, you will need to put a tick in the box to confirm that you have read and understood the information. When you press submit, you will pass through to the applications system.

Please note that, in the first instance, you will need to enroll on either the Postgraduate Certificate or Masters programme.

The course commences in mid-September of each year. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. The deadline for applications for the September 2014 intake is 31 May 2014. Interviews will be held in 30 June and 1 July 2014.

If you have any questions about the programme or the application process, please contact Kea Young, Programme Administrator: kea.young@ucl.ac.uk

Study/Work Balance

How often do I need to attend classes at UCL?

Our programme has a strong emphasis on supported web-based learning in combination with face-to-face lectures, workshops and tutorials. Past and present postgraduate students have told us that this blend of teaching allows them to balance the demands of their ongoing work with CPD. Attendance in person at UCL will vary from module to module but the following is a credible guide:

Compulsory modules

The Research Evidence and Design module, and Research in Practice modules run on the same day and normally require you to attend UCL about once a fortnight.

Optional module

The amount of time you need to spend at UCL will depend on which optional module you choose. Some modules require weekly attendance, some combine face-to-face with online study, while others are delivered entirely online. Please check with the specific module co-ordinator before enrolling.

MRes Project

When carrying out your project, attendance at UCL will be negotiated on an individual basis with your project supervisor(s). For example, you might arrange to meet once a month, although how often you meet is likely to vary according to the type of project you are doing and where you are in the project process. For instance, you might meet more frequently with your supervisor(s) at the start of your project, less during the middle, and more again as you head towards submitting your report.

How much study leave might I need?

You may be planning to seek study leave from your employer. The level of study leave you require is likely to depend on your ability and/or willingness to work at weekends or to use annual leave for study. As a broad guide we recommend the following:


Full-time study over 1 year

Students planning to take the PGCert in 1 year (full-time) would normally need to commit to 1 or 2 days per week over two terms
(Sep ’14 - Mar’15) depending on the mode of delivery of your optional module (e.g. modules delivered exclusively on-line versus modules delivered through face-to-face teaching). After March 2015 your time commitment will be more flexible as you consolidate your learning through peer-led tutorials, meetings with tutors and completion of assignments.

Full time MRes programme (1 year) would normally require you to spend 2 days per week over two terms (Sep ’14 - Mar’15), with additional time built in for project preparation, particularly from January onwards.

It is likely that from March you will be focusing in your project. We recommend that you allocate a minimum of 2 days / week for this, plus weekend or evening working as appropriate.

Part-time study over 2 years

Students planning to take the PGCert over two years would normally need to spend 0.5 to 1day/week on their studies.

Students planning to take the MRes over two years would normally need to spend 1 or 2 days per week (depending on the choice of optional module) over two terms in the first year (Sep ’14 - Mar’15). After March 2015 your time commitment will be more flexible, with a central focus being the completion of ethical review requirements for your research project.

In the second year you will focus exclusively on your project, and normally you would need to commit 2 days/week to this.

Flexible (normally 3 years)

A flexible study programme may allow you to maintain a substantial commitment to your ongoing work while engaging with the programme. Your time commitment will depend on the type of module you are taking at any one time. Some will require you to attend UCL 1 day a week, while others may be taken entirely on-line.

Fees and Funding

The UK/EU fees for 2014/15

PGCert (FT) £3,500
PGCert (PT) £1,750
PGCert (flexible) calculated based on the number of credits assigned to the modules chosen and pro rata of the full-time fee as indicated in the schedule above.

MRes (FT) £8,500
MRes (PT) £4,250
MRes (flexible) calculated based on the number of credits assigned to the modules chosen and pro rata of the full-time fee as indicated in the schedule above.

UCL ScholarshipsFor information on general scholarship opportunities,
please select the link below:
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate

Careers

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Now more than ever before, CPD is linked to career progression. Gaining a PGCert or MRes in applied research in human communication disorders will undoubtedly enhance your career opportunities within child and adult support services, and could act as a springboard to further research including study at doctoral level (see: Doctorate in Clinical Communication Science). In the long term, skills gained on this course will place you in an exceptionally strong position to engage with research including contributing directly to research evidence.

Employability

Evidence of continuing professional development (CPD) is of major importance for professionals working with vulnerable populations, and a PGCert or MRes in applied research in human communication disorders will provide clear advantages in employability. For example, on completion of the course you will be able to demonstrate a range of knowledge and skills that relate directly to your professional career including how to source appropriate literature, evaluate research conducted by others, select and conduct appropriate research designs, analyse data, and write a research report.

FAQs

Do I need to have a clinical/educational post to apply for these programmes?

Applicants are normally expected to hold a current post that involves interaction with adults or children with communication difficulties. It may be possible to take this programme without such a post if you have strong established links with a service organisation.

How many days per week will I need to spend on studying for this programme?

Students planning to take the PGCert or MRes programme full time would normally need to be able to spend 3-4 days per week on their studies (this could include weekend days).

Students planning to take the PGCert or MRes programme part-time over two years would normally need to be able to spend 2-3 days per week on their studies.

Students planning to take the PGCert or the MRes programme over a longer period of time would normally spend 1-2 days per week or less on their studies depending on how many modules they are taking each year.

When does the programme start? 

The programme will start in the last week of September 2014.

Will there be any open days for this programme?

There is an Open Event in the summer term (usually in June). Once confirmed, the date of the 2014 event will be posted here.

Applicants invited to interview will be given a tour of Chandler House on the interview day.

Contact

For queries relating to application for this programme, please contact the programme administrator:

Mrs Kea Young - Email: kea.young@ucl.ac.uk


If you have a query about your eligibility for the programme it is helpful to send a C.V. which includes information about any research experience you have, as well as your work experience.